Zrna is a part of the internal Focus on Force team. In the Salesforce Ecosystem since 2016. 4x certified and a Trailhead Ranger. Based in Europe and working remotely.
Salesforce released the Business Analyst certification exam in July ‘22. As it was in really high demand here at Focus on Force, we created and released the Business Analyst Practice Exams back in October.
We can say that in just a few months, the Business Analyst course became one of our best-selling courses and that we have many users that successfully passed the exam. We have also released a Study Guide that will make the study preparation a lot easier.
Several members of our internal team took the exam and passed successfully on the first try. Based on that experience and from the constant feedback from our users, we wrote this article to help anyone who plans to take the exam soon to successfully pass it on the first attempt.
1. DETERMINE WHERE YOU STAND AT THIS MOMENT
Before anything else, use the Focus on Force practice exams to figure out how knowledgeable you are about the topics covered in the Business Analyst exam. That will help you decide how much time is still needed for preparation as well as your weak topics that will require more attention.
2. STUDY HARD
Go to the Business Analyst trailmix and Focus on Force Study Guide.
We know that work can be hectic, but, as much as possible, we recommend choosing an idle period when planning for the exam. When you know you don’t have any commitments that will require a lot of your time and attention, take the opportunity to extensively prepare and book the exam.
While working through the trailmix, make sure you finish every unit by completing the quiz or challenge at the end. Doing that will help you track your progress in percentages while also having an estimate of hours needed for studying.
Even when there are reference links to an article that you don’t feel like reading or a video that seems like it’s not worth watching – read it, listen to it, and take down notes. You might get a question from that exact topic. If not, you might regret it if only one incorrect answer kept you from passing the exam.
3. KNOW ALL ACRONYMS BECAUSE THE EXAM WILL ASSUME YOU DO
Do you know what RACI, INVEST and V2MOM stand for? Well, you should! The Business Analyst exam will simply assume that you know a bunch of acronyms that were mentioned in preparation materials, so you better know them all.
4. KNOW THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN KEY METHODOLOGIES VERY THOROUGHLY
There will be many questions that will cover these topics, and it is important to have a good understanding about the key differences between Agile and Waterfall, and between Scrum and Kanban.
Also, be careful with these questions as sometimes it might sound too easy, and for a reason, so make sure to read it at least twice.
Every keyword might lead to one conclusion, and then suddenly, a turn – it’s not Kanban that we’re looking for, it’s Scrum. So pay attention to every word.
5. CREATE NOTES TO MEMORIZE THE CONCEPTS
For this exam, experience is useful, but there will be some topics that we don’t encounter often and it might be hard to memorize everything. Let’s not fool ourselves; we can’t know everything, and there can be some concepts that we struggle with. It is in your best interest to create notes and draw diagrams, such as mind maps. It helps to keep it fresh for the exam.
6. KEEP THE ROLE IN MIND
There will be many scenario-based questions that offer three solutions where any of them sounds plausible. When that’s the case, you should keep the role in mind. If the question is what the BA should do, try to eliminate the options that fit other roles better, like a project manager or Salesforce Admin. Some options will sound believable but, in fact, that option should not be in a Business Analyst’s job description.
7. AVOID JUMPING TO SOLUTIONS
This tip is closely connected to the previous ones. The scenario-based questions will offer solution options that might sound acceptable. However, while Business Analysts should listen and acknowledge the needs of stakeholders, it does not mean that impractical solutions they propose should be accepted, regardless of how well-written it is to fool you in the exam.
The role of a Business Analyst is to have conversations with everyone who has a role in the project and to perform the processes of elicitation, documentation, and analysis of the requirements. After that, a Business Analyst can produce data-driven solutions for the best results.
8. DON’T SKIP STEPS
Even though we are aware that it happens in real-life situations, shortcuts and skipping steps are bad practices and should be avoided during any implementation phase. Each of the steps of the implementation process is equally important, and it is not recommended to skip any, even for a small change.
This does not mean that the process should be massively time-consuming. However, it is important to make sure that every step is completed as rushing things in the beginning of a process means slowing your process down in the long run. This is especially important for the UAT phase. Test cases would need to be as thorough and specific as possible, and anything opposite of that should be avoided no matter how tempting it might sound in the question.
9. RETAKE FOCUS ON FORCE EXAMS
When you are done with every module from the trailmix, and every article and video is completed, you should take the practice exams on Focus on Force again.
By this time, you should have very high results. If your results are below 90%, you should use the ‘Retry Incorrect Options’ feature, understand the explanations, check the screenshots and reference links to delve more into the topic. Once your Focus on Force exams are all completed with over 90%, open this module again for additional practice questions.
If all the questions were answered correctly, that’s great! If they are not, there will be a reference link to other modules where you can find more info about the topic.
Don’t focus just on your result percentage though. You need to understand why the correct answer is correct and why the incorrect options are not correct. Otherwise you may just be memorizing and that will not help you in the exam. You need to be able to apply your knowledge not just get the correct answers to the practice questions.
Also, under each unit of this module, there are flashcards that you can use to review a certain topic. It would be good to do this module one day before the exam – or even on the same day – to keep your knowledge fresh.
10. FOCUS ON THE EXAM
Before the exam, we recommend trying to relax; go out for a walk, breathe fresh air, try breathing exercises, or any method you know that will reduce anxiety and keep you as calm as possible. When the exam starts, forget everything else. Just focus on the question, use the elimination process, and find the answer that makes the most sense for the role and for the requirement.
During the exam, remember that every question counts so be very careful with each one of them. We don’t want to put any pressure on you, but this exam has a slightly higher passing score at 72% compared to other Salesforce exams.
However, the good news is that every question will have only one correct option. With each question, try to avoid overthinking and not reading well enough. Some questions might seem too simple, and they indeed will be. Some of them need to be read twice because it’s easy to make an assumption based on some keywords while, at the end of the question, you will realize that the question is actually asking something else.
Preparing for the Business Analyst certification exam?
Focus on Force provides a study guide and practice exams for the Salesforce Business Analyst certification.